McCain Press Aide Calls Alaska Reporter At Home To Complain About Unfavorable Coverage

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Here’s a little more evidence that the McCain-Palin campaign is playing the hardest of hardball on Trooper-Gate — especially in regard to press relations.

Jason Moore, a reporter with Anchorage-based KTUU-TV, just confirmed to TPMmuckraker that Megan Stapleton, a spokeswoman for the McCain-Palin campaign in Alaska, called his home to complain about one of Moore’s news reports, and accused Moore of calling Stapleton and another McCain staffer liars.

Moore’s report looked at the McCain-Palin campaign’s “Truth Squad,” an aggressive Alaska-based public relations campaign that’s being led by Stapleton and former federal prosecutor Ed O’Callaghan and is designed to help thwart the Trooper-Gate investigation.

Moore reported that the Truth Squad was not always entirely truthful itself. He noted that Stapleton had said in a Friday press conference that it was Hollis French, the Democrat overseeing the investigation, who had pulled one name, that of former Palin chief of staff Mike Tibbles, off the list of witnesses to receive subpoenas. Stapleton had pointed to this as an inappropriate political maneuver by French.

But in fact, Moore reported, it was GOP Rep. Jay Ramras, a McCain supporter, who took Tibbles’ name off the list. Moore quoted Ramras saying so.

Stapleton and O’Callaghan have another “Truth Squad” press conference scheduled for 7pm EST tonight.

Moore told TPMmuckraker that he and Stapleton — who was a press aide to Palin before eventually moving over to the McCain campaign — used to work together as co-anchors on KTUU. “We’re friends,” he said.

When Stapleton called his home, said Moore, she reached Moore’s wife, and immediately told her: “Your husband just called two Hoyas liars.” Stapleton, O’Callaghan, and Moore’s wife all attended Georgetown University, whose mascot is the Hoyas.

Moore added that Stapleton had also called the news director of KTUU to complain.

Asked whether he and Stapleton really remained friends, Moore allowed: “It hasn’t been too friendly this week.”